Michael Smith

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at dennyhatch.com.

When self-righteous people—in government and business—make self-righteous statements that have a total disregard for the truth, my teeth itch. These last two weeks have been a field day for folks who have what Hemingway called a “built-in, shockproof s**t detector.” An example is President Bush’s lecture and scold to the World Economic Forum on the Middle East at Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, four days ago. He said: Too often in the Middle East, politics has consisted of one leader in power and the opposition in jail. America is deeply concerned about the plight of political prisoners in this region, as well as democratic activists

Target Marketing: Where do companies’ returns-management programs fail to meet customers’ expectations, and how can they fix those weaknesses? Michael Smith, vice president, Retail Business Solutions at Newgistics Inc.: Traditionally, product returns have been viewed as a “necessary cost of doing business,” and returns management was an afterthought. Many marketers handle returns as individual transactions and fail to consider the entire “returns process,” which begins at the point of sale. In this context, product returns create two key business problems: • First, returns are a hassle for customers, resulting in dissatisfaction, attrition and lost revenue. • Second, returns are costly to process; it’s four

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